[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 10 September 2014

  • From: <Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:25:53 -0500

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for
the week of Wednesday, 10 September 2014

This is a free weekly news & information update from  <http://handiham.org>
Courage Kenny Handiham System. Our contact information is at the end. 

Listen here:

Get this podcast in iTunes:
 <http://www.itunes.com/podcast?id=372422406> Subscribe to our audio podcast
in iTunes

RSS feed for the audio podcast if you use other podcasting software:
 <http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham> http://feeds.feedBurner.com/handiham


Welcome to Handiham World.

Radio tuned to 75 meters

Picture: The IC-7200 is tuned to 3.925 MHz, which is possible because I have
a 75 meter antenna in my yard.  There are plenty of ham radio operators out
there who are told, "No antennas for you!"  

ARRL asks us to write a letter.  I think we should.

By Patrick Tice, WA0TDA 

One of the problems with summer is that everyone has a summer schedule that
includes time doing summer stuff.  It might be away from the office,
vacationing away from home, taking a break from being constantly connected
via email and phone, and yes, putting ham radio activities on the shelf
until autumn rolls around.  I guess that most of us might think of this as a
good thing - everyone needs time away from the usual routine.  

But there is a problem.  Sometimes critical, time-sensitive things come up,
even during summer and vacation.  It is easy to miss news about what it
going on in ham radio during the summer, and unfortunately for a lot of us
that is exactly what has happened with a very, very important piece of
Amateur Radio related legislation in the United States House of
Representatives, HR. 4969.

HR. 4969 has been in the ham radio news for much of the summer, but most of
us have been in "summer mode" and have pretty much ignored it.  But now -
TODAY - is the time for you to act in support of The Amateur Radio Parity
Act of 2014, which is what HR. 4969 is all about.  The ARRL website states
that "it is crunch time" and that the letters in support of this bill MUST
be at the ARRL for delivery to Congress no later than September 12 - and

"Constituent letters urging members of the US House of Representatives to
co-sponsor  <https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/4969>
H.R. 4969, the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014, need to arrive at ARRL
Headquarters by Friday, September 12, for forwarding to Congress. ARRL
Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, said the last
legislative day for the fall is September 19, and Congress will not be back
in session again until after the mid-term election."

Okay, I'll admit that I've been too busy to take care of this simple task
until today, but I did get my letter to my Congressional Representative
written and emailed to ARRL headquarters, where it will be delivered to
Congress en masse to show our support for our being able to set up antennas
more freely, which is what this is all about.  

It's easy to do.  Just go to the following ARRL page: 

Once you are there, read the concise summary of what this is all about, and
if you agree that accommodating ham radio antennas is important, go to the
HR. 4969 sample letter that ARRL has set up at the bookmark labeled "How can
I help to get HR 4969 passed?"  You will find a sample letter and a link to
your Congressional Representative.  Please note that you only need to make
up the letter that includes your name and address, make sure it is addressed
to your representative, sign it, and either FAX or email it to ARRL.   To
find your representative, look for the bookmark link "Who is my
Congressperson?" and to find out how and where to send it, look for the
bookmark link "Where should I send my letter to my Congressperson?"  All of
these bookmarks are on the page http://www.arrl.org/hr-4969.  

Making up my own letter took all of five minutes.  I opened a letterhead
document I already had for writing letters, found the sample letter on the
ARRL website, then located my representative's name and address, which I
also pasted in.  I had a scanned signature to insert at the end, and then I
saved it and sent it to ARRL as a file attachment:

"If you wish to write and sign your letter then send the signed copy to the
ARRL as an attachment (PDF or scan) to an email, please send them to
n1nd@xxxxxxxx with the words 'HR 4969 letter' in the SUBJECT field of the

Be sure the letter is SIGNED!  That means that you may have to print and
sign it, then scan it and send it as an attachment if you don't have a
pre-scanned signature as I did to paste in. 

Take a few minutes to do this right now, today.  Remember that it must be at
ARRL by this Friday, September 12, 2014.

One of my favorite nets is the 75 meter PICONET.  I hate to think how much
I'd miss getting on that net if I had to put up with antenna restrictions.
Act now! 

(For Handiham World, this is Pat Tice, WA0TDA.)

And speaking of nets...

.         Our daily Echolink net continues to operate for anyone and
everyone who cares to check in at 11:00 hours CDT (Noon Eastern and 09:00
Pacific), as well as Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 19:00 hours CDT (7
PM).  Tonight N6NFF will pose a trivia question in the first half hour, so
check in early if you want to take a guess.

.         With 75 meters becoming more usable, consider checking into the
PICONET on 3.925 MHz, which has a long Handiham affiliation. It's on Monday
through Saturday mornings from 9 AM to 11 AM and Monday through Friday
afternoons from 3 PM to 5 PM Central Time.  Details and schedules are at:

.         The PICONET get-together is this coming Saturday, September 13, in
Perham, MN.  Details are at: 

.         Don't forget about our remote base station, W0ZSW, which is
available for your use. You can easily use it to check into PICONET on 75
meters or MIDCARS on 7.258 MHz.  The YL System net is happy to get your
check-in on 14.332 MHz.  Last week I forgot to give you the YL System
website.  What was I thinking?  You can find the YL System Net website at: 

.         Here is a fun fact:   The YL System net is actually older than the
Handiham program!  It's true, and if you pay a visit to the YL System Net
website <http://www.ylsystem.org/> , you can find out when it all began.  

.         Blind?  Try the alternative text only version of the YL System


Unidentified electronic gadget with terminals and control knob 

"Hey, I have this gadget with no instruction manual and by the way I don't
know what it even is.  Can you program it for me?" 

A while ago I chatted with a person on the phone who needed some help with a
radio.  Although I don't do radio programming over the phone or in person
because I am not good at it, I do have some suggestions on resources like
the excellent KB5ELV "Eyes-Free" guide for the popular UV5R dual band HT.
It was during this conversation that I had a "Monty Python moment".  It was
like the famous bookshop skit in which a customer walks into a book store
and engages the clerk in a seemingly endless round of increasingly
frustrating exchanges about odd titles that no one has ever heard of.  Read
the text of this exchange here
<http://www.inprint.co.uk/thebookguide/bookshop-skit.htm> , or listen to it
on YouTube here <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCM2nEBE0RY> .

What was frustrating was that the person called me for help because I had
once upon a time recommended the radio, but when asked which radio, did not
know.  When I came back with a likely possibility and suggested the
Eyes-Free guide, the response was that the person did not have the internet.
Well, it is an internet resource, so here I am with a person on the phone
who does not know what radio we are even needing to talk about and has no
way to access the internet and has called a person a thousand miles away
(me) on the phone for an answer to how to program an unknown radio.  It is
hard to manage this sort of thing, but thanks to a printer and the U.S.
Postal Service, a copy of the KB5ELV guide is on the way.  I think we got
this one taken care of okay. 

But this does serve to remind us of something that everyone needs to do from
time to time, which is ask for help.  None of us knows everything, after
all, and there is no shame in asking for help if you really need it.  If you
find yourself in a position where you are thinking about asking for help,
follow these basic guidelines to do so successfully:

1.   BEFORE making a call or writing or showing up at a friend's house with
the gadget in question, make every attempt possible to read the instruction
manual and try to follow its directions.  I'll grant you that some of the
radios we see these days seem to have manuals composed by cyborgs from
another galaxy, but give it your best shot anyway.  

2.   So you can't make heads or tails of the manual?  You're probably not
alone.  It's time to get help, but please have the manual ready, along with
the radio and its accessories like the charger and the rubber antenna, since
your helper will need those things.  Be sure the radio's battery is charged!

3.   This is important:  KNOW the manufacturer and model of the device you
are asking about!  Radios are not all the same, and generic information
about how to program them does not even exist.  

4.   Seek help from the correct source.  Look, you don't go to the local
bakery to buy a bar of soap.  So don't show up at the bakery with a question
about soap.  The soap retailer or manufacturer will be a better choice for
information about that bar of soap.  Similarly, the radio's manufacturer or
retailer will usually have resources available to answer questions related
to their products - and this is usually available on one or more websites.  

5.   Which brings me to number 5.  The Internet.  It's an endless source of
information if you know how to use it.  But it's also like not having indoor
plumbing if you don't have internet these days.  Luckily, if you don't have
internet access, your library or coffee shop does.  The internet quickly
reveals that if you type the callsign KB5ELV into a Google search box, you
are instantly rewarded with links to the Eyes-Free guides on a retailer
website.  In the all-out-super-duper-best category of useful tools for any
ham radio operator, the internet is right up there at the top, and its
fantastic connection to resources on even the knottiest radio quirks and
puzzles is available 24/7.  So use it!  

6.   Have some way to take notes.  If you do call or even talk in person
with someone who is prepared to give you radio advice, be prepared with
whatever technology you need to take notes.  A pen and paper, an audio
recorder, a digital device, a note-taking app - just be prepared, because
sure as shootin' you'll forget what was said a few minutes after hanging up
the phone, even though it seemed so clear and easy when it was explained to

7.   This last one is most important of all:  Thank the person who helped
you out.  Even if it is their job to assist customers, the tech support
people at the retailer or manufacturer still appreciate hearing those words.

Perhaps some day you can pay that help forward by helping another person
with that same radio or other device that you know how to use.  

And finally...

.         Last week we mailed out the September NLS cartridges, and this
week there will be a second mailing for the stragglers who got their
cartridges back to us late. You'll find the QST/CQ digest, the QCWA Journal,
and other readings for the month of September to launch you into the Autumn
ham radio season.  These are also available right now in the members section
of the website after you log in.

.         You can find out more about the Handiham program, an educational
resource for people with disabilities, at our website, https://handiham.org.

.         I will be out of the office the rest of the week.  The Handiham
office will be closed on Friday, September 12.  Please remember that the
12th is also the day you should have your HR 4969 letter at ARRL so that it
can be delivered to your representative.  You do not need to do any
additional letters to your senators - only your representative in the U.S.

73, and I hope to hear you on the air soon!  

For Handiham World, this is Pat Tice, WA0TDA.  

ARRL is the premier organization supporting Amateur Radio worldwide. Please
contact Handihams for help joining the ARRL. We will be happy to help you
fill out the paperwork!

ARRL diamond-shaped logo

The weekly e-letter is a compilation of software tips, operating
information, and Handiham news. It is published on Wednesdays, and is
available to everyone free of charge. Please email
<mailto:handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx  for changes of
address, unsubscribes, etc. Include your old email address and your new

 <http://handiham.org> Return to Handiham.org



JPEG image

JPEG image

JPEG image

JPEG image

GIF image

Other related posts:

  • » [handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 10 September 2014 - Patrick.Tice